7 Highlights from the APALA Convention

Nearly 650 people from dozens of unions and community partners recently gathered in Anaheim, California, to attend the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)’s convention and celebrate its 25th anniversary. This year the convention’s theme “25 Years of Resistance: Organize & Fight” emphasized APALA’s rejection of racism and the anti-worker position.

As it approached its 26th year, APALA members vowed to continue to fight for justice and defend the rights of all workers and allies.

Here are a few highlights from the convention:

1. APALA delegates passed an AFGE resolution rejecting privatization of the VA 

APALA stands with AFGE when its delegates on Aug. 20 adopted a resolution submitted by AFGE denouncing and rejecting efforts to privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs in whole or in part.

2. Activists rallied to show solidary with hotel workers

APALA activists gathered at the Wincome Hotel in Anaheim to show support for hotel workers and members of UNITE HERE as management has refused to negotiate with the union.

3. APALA marched in solidarity with those killed and injured in Charlottesville 

APALA activists held a vigil and march to show solidarity with those who were killed and injured during the violent KKK and Neo-Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia.

4. Delegates amended the APALA constitution to expand the labor movement 

The convention passed a constitutional amendment to expand the ranks of APALA to include young workers, community allies, and other workers who are not currently union members but who embrace the fight for social and economic justice.

5. AFGE Chief of Staff addressed the convention 

AFGE Chief of Staff Brian DeWyngaert addressed the APALA delegates, discussing AFGE’s efforts to grow the union and the need for the labor movement to expand.

6. Consensus: unions are resolutions to many of our pressing problems 

Several workshops and discussions pointed to a common fact that unions have helped reduce the wage gap, increase the voice of the marginalized, make our country more democratic, increase access to affordable health care and secure retirement, reduce poverty, etc.

7. International guests joined the convention 

Attending the convention was a delegation of two dozen labor and peace and human rights activists from Okinawa, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Maldives. Their participation highlighted APALA’s commitment to global solidarity with workers around the world in holding corporations accountable for workers and human rights abuses. 

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